Hope for the Holidays


Do you wish you could do the holidays differently this year?

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

As the weather grows colder, leaves fall from trees, and sweaters and boots come out of closets, you have a feeling of hope, looking forward to the cozy, wonder-filled, family-centered days ahead. You remember favorite traditions, gatherings, stories, songs and the feelings of joy and anticipation.

But then reality hits… the days from Thanksgiving to New Years speed by in a six-week blur. Each morning you wake up thinking about the gifts you haven’t bought, the food you haven’t cooked and the Elf you haven’t moved.

You find yourself snapping at your kids and your partner, running from one party to the next like a sweater-wearing, covered dish-carrying zombie, equally likely—at any given moment—to burst into either “Jingle Bells” or the Clark Griswold rant from Christmas Vacation.

Come January 2nd, you look back at the past month and wonder whatever happened to the warm fuzzy feeling you anticipated.

What’s more, you haven’t had a moment to yourself all season. All of that togetherness you were looking forward to has become more of a struggle than a blessing. And instead of stepping gracefully into the new year, you feel as if you’re blindly flinging yourself into 2020.



I believe the holidays don’t have to happen to us, neither do we have to will them into submission.

Imagine instead that you could prepare yourself for the coming season with intention, with thoughtfulness, and with plenty of grace.

Imagine crafting a vision for the holidays that includes the things that matter most to you—connecting with loved ones around the table, pausing to care for yourself through reflection and movement, and rediscovering the sense of wonder and magic that accompanied the holidays in your childhood.

What if, on January 2, 2020, you could look back on the past six weeks with a sense of deep meaning, great joy, and fun memories?

In short, what if you could put your reasons back in the season?

  • If you’ve been wanting to reacquaint yourself with the stories and symbols of your faith (or family) traditions…
  • If you’re curious about what it would be like to celebrate a little differently this year…
  • If you’re overwhelmed by juggling Advent calendars and Santa lists and gratitude practices and the bleepin’ Elf...
  • If you’d like to end 2019 with some sense of purpose and community…

…then I invite you to join me for Hope for the Holidays.


How It Works

For five weeks, you will join an intimate group of like-minded ladies (up to 12) who share your desire to reclaim the “most wonderful time of the year.” Working together, you will create your own toolbox of practices, all grounded in ritual and tradition, to equip you to handle whatever the holidays throw your way.

Beginning October 1, the program will include:

  • A private Facebook group to share stories and resources. Feeling out of sync with the holidays can be isolating, but rest assured you are not alone! We will also help to keep each other accountable to doing the work through discussion prompts.

  • A printable PDF workbook filled with valuable information, suggestions and journaling prompts to get your thoughts flowing. We’ll start by identifying what exactly it is that matters to you in this season, and your completed workbook will act as a road map to carry with you through the end of the year.

  • Four weekly live workshops (with recordings to revisit as needed), each one delving into a different area of holiday practices and rituals.

The topics we cover will include:


What this program is NOT:

  • A way to hack or type-A your way to the Best Holiday Ever. While we will certainly share some resources for gift shopping or meal planning, productivity is not the focus here.

  • One-size-fits-all. I will not dictate practices to you or tell you what’s “best.” Instead, this program will offer support in creating your own collection of practices.

  • Therapy. This group can and will provide a listening ear and support for your individual situation, but I am not a licensed counselor and am not equipped to help you untangle complex familial, emotional or spiritual issues. I do think this program could work well alongside professional counseling, if you’d like to pair the two. 

Program Cost: $197

Bonus Add-On: Add a one-hour coaching session for $59, perfect for support in crafting a unique ritual experience for your season.

Cat Kessler Headshot.JPG

Hi, I’m Cat!

I’m a self-care coach who helps busy women create space for meaningful pauses to reconnect to something larger than themselves and to tap their own inner sources of calm and creativity.

I’m a mom to an energetic three-year-old and a professional writer and marketer, as well as a lifelong Presbyterian who geeks out on liturgy and ritual.

I put together Hope for the Holidays after I discovered the pitfall of loving holiday traditions the way I do—namely trying to do ALL THE THINGS, including two Advent calendars, dinner table discussions, handmade gifts, keeping the greenery of both the Christmas tree and the Advent wreath alive until the Big Day AND juggling family schedules and expectations.

I’m excited to share the grounding power of ritual with you and to pair it with all of our favorite things about the season. And I can’t wait to tell you about which beloved holiday tradition I’m letting go of this year.



Are you ready to join us?



Still Have Questions? 

What if I don’t attend church / celebrate Christmas / engage in “spiritual practices?”

This group could still be a good fit. We’ll definitely talk about the themes of Christmas and Advent, but the objective of the program is for you to create the practices that are meaningful to you. Your practices could include prayer or meditation, Advent wreaths or votive candles, Christmas dinners or Hanukkah feasts. I believe that what we learn from those who practice differently than us can only enrich our experiences, and I would love to have you join us.

When are the live workshops, and what if I can’t attend one/any of them?

The live workshops are scheduled for Tuesday evenings at 8:30 p.m. EDT. The workshop dates are October 8, 15, 22 and 29. Recordings of each live workshop will be available for watching right after the workshops end, so you can catch up on anything you miss. I do encourage you to try to attend the workshops live, as we’ll be able to share experiences and answer questions in real time.

I’m not on Facebook—can I still participate?

If you don’t have a Facebook account, you will still receive the e-workbook and be able to participate in the weekly workshops. That said, an important part of integrating grounding rituals into our lives is the community that surrounds us, and for the month of October, our community will be housed on Facebook. You can, of course, create a free Facebook account (or revive an archived account) just for this program without participating in the platform in any other way.

How much time will I need to dedicate to this program each week?

I know you’re busy—in fact, that’s probably the reason why you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this page—so my goal is to give you the tools you need and the connections to support you in an efficient manner. Each weekly workshop will last 45 minutes to an hour, and I would suggest spending another hour each week checking into the Facebook group and completing some of the workbook activities on your own. Of course, it’s ultimately up to you!

What happens after I sign up?

Once I receive your registration, I’ll send you an email with a few details, including a short questionnaire so I can get to know you better and a link to join our private Facebook Group. The program gets started for real on October 1st, but I hope you’ll log in to introduce yourself and start getting to know the group. I’ll follow up later on with a link to download your e-workbook.

Can I get a refund if I cannot complete the program?

Due to the nature of this program, there will be no refunds given—full or partial—at any time. Think of it like buying a ticket to your favorite live concert—you’re purchasing a seat in that arena, whether you show up or not. Unlike the concert, you’ll still receive the workbook materials and workshop recordings, so you could always catch up later.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Asking me to choose a favorite Christmas movie is like asking a mother to choose a favorite child! My family has always been super into movies, and the holiday season was no exception. One of my all-time favorites that definitely makes the top three is All I Want for Christmas. I first saw it when I was pretty young—my grandma was horrified that she’d taken me to see a movie about D-I-V-O-R-C-E, and the critics hated it, but it will always have a special place in my heart. Fantastic cast. Sweet story. Highly recommend.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

If you still have questions you’d like to ask me send me a message through the contact form, and I’ll respond in 48 hours or less!

Ready to Join Hope for the Holidays?

Registration has closed for 2019. Sign up to receive updates for future programs.

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